This is the first call for papers and participation for the Sixth Northeast Workshop on Southern Africa (NEWSA). We encourage scholars from all disciplines who are currently working on southern Africa (Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe) to submit proposals. The meeting will be held at the Bishop Booth Conference Center in Burlington, Vermont (US), between April 22 and April 25, 2005. The conference occurs shortly before the Canadian African Studies meeting to be held at the Marriott Chateau Champlain in Montreal (90-minute drive from Burlington), April 27 - May 1, 2005. The NEWSA conference was timed in such a way so that international attendees can attend both meetings.
The NEWSA conference is organized around intensive discussion of pre-circulated papers. There are also many opportunities for informal conversation of work-in-progress. Located on 130 acres of forest with its own secluded beach, the center is an ideal location for discussion and conversation. We encourage the presentation of previously unpublished work, and submissions from graduate students and junior faculty in particular.
Building on the success of the Fifth Workshop, and in addition to regular panels, we encourage prospective participants to consider organizing a special roundtable discussion. We want especially to encourage discussion of the following three topics across disciplines:
1.Popular Culture: Papers for this roundtable may include, but are not limited to studies of literature, emergent youth culture, television, film, dance, bar and shebeen culture, fashion, food, etc.
2.Reflections on the Current Situation in Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe’s current upheaval is forcing reappraisal of its history and political culture. Mugabe has reinterpreted the past to place British imperial interests at the heart of Zimbabwe’s present. Historians are contesting the “real” meaning of the liberation war, while political theorists engage with new vocabularies of race and class. Environmentalists argue about whether the dramatic change in land use is a disaster or a much-needed respite for over-exploited soil. The booming asylum industry is rethinking the meaning of “sell out.” And academics in exile are looking at their country from “outside,” gaining new perspectives on the nation and themselves. Other possible themes include but are not limited to anthropological, historical, and transnational perspectives on the media, land distribution, the Zimbabwean military, HIV/AIDS, the legacy of the Lancaster House conference, perceptions of nationalism/national identity linked to the liberation struggle, and the politics of personal security in Zimbabwe.
3.Identity: We envision this roundtable drawing together scholarly work on a range of identity issues in southern Africa including ethnic, racial, gender, sexual, and age-based identities. Possible topics for the roundtable include, but are not limited to migration and xenophobia, the impact of the democratic transition in South Africa on the reconfiguration or consolidation of ethnic identity, the politics of sexual identity, transnational ethnicity (e.g. Tswana, Swazi, Herero, etc.), the historical development of ethnic identities.
Roundtable discussions on other topics are also welcomed.
We especially encourage participation from professionals, scholars and graduate students in Africa as well as those located in Canada and the United States. If you are interested in attending please contact Julie Livingston (firstname.lastname@example.org) by email. Indicate whether you would like to:
a) organize a special roundtable discussion, as described above
b) present a paper for one of the regular panels
c) serve as a discussant
d) attend the workshop
The deadline for proposals is December 15, 2004. Send proposals to Julie Livingston (email@example.com).
If you wish to organize a roundtable discussion, your proposal should include a description (no longer than two pages) of what the panel will discuss and the 3-4 discussion participants.
If you wish to give a paper, your proposal should include a title and one- to two-paragraph abstract. Completed papers, not to exceed forty pages, will be due March 15, 2005, so that the papers can be pre-circulated on a conference website ahead of the meeting.
If you wish to serve as a discussant, your proposal should indicate the areas of southern African studies on which you are most prepared to comment. Once the conference participants are selected and organized into panels, each panel will be assigned a discussant. Discussants thoroughly read the pre-circulated papers by the participants in their session, and at the conference give a 10-15 minute constructive criticism/comment on the papers individually and collectively. Discussants also coordinate discussion of the papers amongst those attending the panel.
Drawing on the successful precedents of the former Southern African Research Program at Yale and the Canadian Research Consortium on Southern Africa, this program is designed to give southern Africanists the opportunity for close and intensive discussion of work across a wide variety of scholarly fields.
Burlington is easily accessible. By car it is 90 minutes from Montreal, 3½ hours from Boston and approximately five hours from New York. In addition to its airport Burlington is served by AMTRAK (train) and several bus lines.
The Bishop Booth Center offers inexpensive accommodation and meals in a beautiful setting. The cost for meals and a shared room for the conference is $150.00. The registration fee for the conference is $100.00. The registration fee is waived for graduate students and visitors from southern Africa.
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